The Department of Justice came under fire from Republican lawmakers following new charges against former President Donald Trump in the classified documents case.
On July 27, Mr. Trump was charged with an additional count of willful retention of national defense information and two new obstruction counts as part of a superseding indictment issued by a grand jury in the Southern District of Florida.
The indictment, submitted by prosecutors from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office, alleges that Mr. Trump asked for Mar-a-Lago video surveillance footage to be deleted after federal investigators visited the property in June 2022.
Mr. Trump was indicted over his handling of documents at Mar-a-Lago in June, and he pleaded not guilty to 37 felony counts, including violating the federal Espionage Act and other federal statutes for allegedly making false statements, concealing documents, and conspiring to obstruct justice.
Late on Thursday evening, Mr. Trump took to his Truth Social account asking about President Joe Biden’s classified document case.
“Whatever happened to the Crooked Joe Biden Document’s case? He had 20 times more Boxes than I did, and he wasn’t covered by the Presidential Records Act. I was!” Mr. Trump wrote.
‘Two Tiers of Justice’
House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) issued a statement on Thursday evening, saying that the U.S. justice system “is broken.”
“The American people understand that Joe Biden and his Administration are engulfed in one of the biggest political corruption scandals of all time. It is no coincidence that the day after a federal judge throws out Hunter Biden’s corrupt, sweetheart plea bargain, Biden’s weaponized DOJ continues its witchhunt against President Trump,” Ms. Stefanik wrote.
The New York congresswoman added: “Our Republic is in peril, our justice system is broken. House Republicans will continue our work to investigate the Biden crime family and leave no stone unturned in order to deliver accountability on behalf of the American people.”
On Wednesday, Judge Maryellen Noreika, a Delaware federal district judge appointed by Mr. Trump, rejected an earlier plea agreement between Hunter Biden and the DOJ. After the plea deal fell apart, the first son pleaded not guilty to federal tax and gun charges.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, took to X, formerly known as Twitter, Thursday evening, criticizing the DOJ for being politically biased.
“The DOJ’s decision to pursue additional charges against President Trump is further evidence of the politicization of our nation’s top prosecutorial agency. Amid AG Garland’s dismissal of wrongdoing by Hunter Biden & Hillary Clinton, Tennesseans are tired of two tiers of justice,” Ms. Blackburn wrote.
‘Unfit to Be POTUS’
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is running for the U.S. Senate in California in 2024, said the DOJ case against Trump is now stronger.
“Trump apparently asked for Mar-a-Lago security footage to be deleted. After getting a subpoena to produce it, no less,” Mr. Schiff wrote on X. “The case against him for illegally retaining classified information and for obstruction just got stronger. A lot stronger.”
Carlos De Oliveira, a Mar-a-Lago property manager, was also charged in the new indictment, making him the third defendant in the documents case. Mr. Oliveira is accused of multiple charges, including making false statements to investigators and trying to obstruct justice.
The indictment quotes Mr. Oliveira telling a colleague that the “boss” wanted a server hosting the surveillance footage to be deleted.
Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), who sits on the House Oversight Committee, took to X to say Mr. Trump should not be president.
“While America waited for Trump to be indicted for election interference, he was indicted (again) for keeping and mishandling top secret documents,” Mr. Gomez wrote. “Trump has shown time and time again that he is unfit to be POTUS, and he’s a danger to our country.”
On July 17, Georgia’s Supreme Court denied Mr. Trump’s attempt to quash a grand jury report in Fulton County over allegations that he interfered in the state’s 2020 elections. A day later, speaking at an Iowa town hall, the former president vowed to “fight any and all politically charged indictments.”
‘Corrupt and Dishonest’
Also on Thursday, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton took to X to criticize the Biden administration over the new charges against Mr. Trump.
“Today’s superseding indictment of Trump by his campaign opponent Joe Biden is as corrupt and dishonest as the first indictment,” Mr. Fitton wrote.
A day before the superseding indictment was issued, McLaughlin & Associates released a poll showing that 54 percent of likely voters agreed that the DOJ should stop targeting Mr. Trump and interfering with the 2024 presidential election, and Mr. Biden should “let the voters decide who the next president should be.” Thirty-eight percent of respondents disagreed.
The poll, conducted between July 19 and July 24, also found Mr. Trump with a commanding lead in the GOP field with 52 percent of support.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis finished second with 13 percent, followed by Vivek Ramaswamy with 8 percent, and former Vice President Mike Pence with 5 percent.
Former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, speaking to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) on Newsmax on Thursday, said the new charges against the former president were “further proof” of attempts to prevent him from winning the 2024 race.
“This is about an effort to use the Department of Justice to keep President Trump from returning to the White House, full stop,” Mr. Miller said.
“I think any fair, impartial observer understands that if President Trump was not running for reelection, if he had said ‘I’m just going to go retire to Bedminster, retire to Mar-a-Lago, I’m not going to run for president again,’ there is no charges brought in any of these cases anywhere in the country, whether it be in New York, Washington, D.C., Florida, or anywhere else.”